Well, that’s an unusual headline, but that’s exactly what I did.
As previously noted, I’m turning a model of an SP baggage car into a reasonable stand-in model of a CNR express car, in the 8775-8799 series. The most noticeable difference – and therefore the one I simply must address – is the doors. The SP car has two 5′ doors on each side, whereas the CNR car has a 6′ door and a pair of doors in an 8′ opening. The doors on the CNR car are also taller, reaching almost to the roof. (I provided more detail about the doors in a previous posting.)
I disassembled my SP model, and opened up new spaces for the doors:
(Modified car, with new door openings)
(Stock SP car from South Wind Models)
The brass walls are fairly thin on this car, so to do this work I simply marked the size of the new openings, then removed material with a “nibbler” – a tool used in electronics:
(Check your local electronics supplier, or even your hobby shop, for one of these)
As the name implies, it nibbles away thin brass, PC board materials, styrene, you name it. (It’s a great tool for making openings in walls for window castings.) I’m really glad I have one in my toolbox. Using the nibbler is like playing The Price Is Right: I tried to get as close to the line as I could without going over. I then finished the openings with a good mill file.
The other big change I have to make is the roof vents. As the photos above suggest, I’ve removed the SP vents and will be replacing them. Here’s a close-up of the roof, with vents gone:
Removing them was easy: I held the car body shell with an oven mitt, and used a micro-torch to melt the solder from the inside of the roof. A few passes with the torch was all it took. I would heat a post, set down the torch, then grab the vent with a pair of pliers and pull it out of the roof. I still have to fill the holes, and add new, longer rain strips to the roof over the larger openings.
I guess I’m committed to the project now.
Next up: I’ll build some new doors for the express car.